YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenia has called on neighboring Iran and the United States to de-escalate their tensions following the assassination of IranianGeneral Qassem Soleimani.
Official Yerevan also pledged over the weekend to maintain neutrality in the conflict while offering condolences to Tehran over the death of the powerful commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discussed the crisis in a phone call which the Armenian Foreign Ministry said was initiated by the Iranian side.
“On behalf of the Government of Armenia, Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan expressed condolences to the Government and people of Iran on the demise of the high-ranking Iranian official,” the ministry said in a statement.
It added that Mnatsakanyan also “stressed the importance of preventing further tensions and de-escalating the situation through peaceful means.”
“Iran is a friendly country for us and the United States is a friendly country for us,” Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said later on Sunday. “In this situation we certainly cannot be drawn into anti-Iranian actions. We cannot be drawn into anti-American actions either.”